How The Technology Age Will Define Marketing This Year
We’re all tech companies
Technology is borderless. Every region, industry, and job role is using or affected by technology. Even if you’re trying to remain off the grid, there are people and bots working to figure you out. Something as basic as having a driver’s license or a phone number makes you findable in our techno-age.
The era of “tech companies” is over; there are only ‘companies’, steeped in technology, that will survive.
~ Rob Thomas | The End of Tech Companies | @RobDThomas
“Competing without software is like competing without electricity.”
~ Naval Ravikant via The End of Tech Companies
~ Anil Dash | CEO of @fogcreek | @AnilDash
What Does It Mean for Marketers?
Marketing is finally getting its due share of tech attention. We now have advanced technology that helps us:
- Collect and understand prospect and customer data
- Reach prospects in digital and traditional channels
- Equip our sales teams with modern tools for consultative selling
- Make the buying process faster and easier for prospects and customers
- Create a satisfying ownership experience
Along with the rise of marketing technology, I’ve seen marketing expectations of ‘techpertise’ center on MarTech or Demand Gen specialists. But ask yourself this question. If only a handful of people are using your MarTech to see how prospects are interacting, what content is attracting usage, and how successfully you’re cultivating opportunities — how can you run at full speed?
The point is that we all need to be tech savvy. MarTech can’t be seen as the role of few elite experts. We don’t need to be elite MarTech gurus to take advantage of new solutions.
Focus MarTech On The Practical 2017
In 2017, MarTech becomes a team-wide momentum tool. Everyone in marketing needs to do more with less, and do it better. Easy, tech-fueled marketing practices abound. To name a few:
- Writers can test headlines for emotional impact, or enhance editing with grammar and usage checkers.
- PR experts create and build relationships with influencers and newsmakers using social engagement tools.
- Product marketers engage with prospects, customers and sales using online forums, survey tools, and content delivery tech.
- Corporate and content marketing are the lucky dogs given the wide range of tools for creating, distributing, and analyzing marketing results.
Let’s dig into the basics. All marketers need to understand how marketing automation works. Lead scoring, digital footprint analytics, and A/B testing allow us to test demand and adjust messaging quickly. Do it well and you can more predictably build pipeline and support revenue goals.
Here’s another reason to get comfortable with tech. In a post-truth era, trust is harder than ever to build. I believe we’ll see more B2B brands embrace storytelling as a key practice in 2017 as a result. What better way to tell your story than through your people?
Give employees compelling content that they’re proud to share online – and you’ll see your brand’s credibility grow too. Naturally, that requires you to encourage employees–salespeople and others–to engage in social media with tools that make sharing easy and trackable.
For all of these use cases and reasons, every B2B marketer needs to develop relevant expertise in buying, using, measuring, and modernizing technology for our day jobs.